About us

Promoting International Cooperation in Viper Conservation and Reducing Snake-Human Conflict

Photo by Scott Trageser

Acting as a Global Voice for Viper Conservation


Photo by Aleksandar Simovic

The IUCN Viper Specialist Group (VSG) was formed to change the trajectory of declines and prevent extinctions of viper species.

We have created a platform through which conservation biologists can work to increase our scientific understanding of viper biology and can implement conservation actions to protect this group of venomous snakes.

Promoting Conservation Partnerships Between International Experts

The IUCN Viper Specialist Group (VSG) provides a forum for partnership among viper conservation biologists from around the world who historically might operate without knowledge of their colleagues’ activities.

More importantly, the Viper Specialist Group (VSG) creates a united strong voice for viper conservation, and instead of individuals working with specific species or landscapes alone, they have the entire world of viper conservation biologists behind them.

Our Story

The Viper Specialist Group (VSG) was founded in 2009 by Chris Jenkins of The Orianne Society (past Chair of the VSG) and came from the need for a globally-focused group for these animals. We are a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) and we work closely with the IUCN Red List Authority to coordinate and review addition of species to the Red List. This list assesses the status of species and is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal species.

About IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organizations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organizations and the input of more than 17,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

What is the Species Survival Commission

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of more than 9,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world. They are all working together towards achieving the vision of, “A just world that values and conserves nature through positive action to reduce the loss of diversity of life on earth”. Working in close association with IUCN’s Global Species Programme, SSC’s major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning, the provision of ecosystem services, and their support to human livelihoods. This information is fed into The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. SSC members also provide scientific advice to conservation organizations, government agencies and other IUCN members, and support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. The Policies, Guidelines & Standards produced by the SSC provide guidance to specialized conservation projects and initiatives, such as reintroducing animals into their former ranges, handling confiscated specimens, and halting the spread of invasive species.


Photo by Ivana Buric

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